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North, Central, West Finals all set after wild Saturday

April 15, 2012

Brandon Wahlin celebrates a goal as Austin beat Alexandria to advance to the Central Finals against Bismarck (photo by Eric Johnson, Austin Daily Herald).

Kalamazoo 3 @ Traverse City 2 (OT) (Kalamazoo wins series, 3-1) - Alex Okicki stopped 37 shots, as he lead the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings to a 3-2 overtime victory and a 3-1 series victory over the Traverse City North Stars in the North Divisional Semifinals on Saturday at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City. The first period contained back and forth action the entire frame, however neither team was able to find the back of the net. Traverse City outshot Kalamazoo 11-10 during the opening period, while Kalamazoo killed off three power play attempts in the first. Those kills were highlighted by 1:44 of five-on-three time in which the Jr. K-Wings denied the North Stars any real scoring opportunity. Scoring ran wild in the second, as the two teams combined for four goals in the middle frame. Starting the scoring for Traverse City, and giving them a 1-0 lead was Will Badner, who scored his second of the playoffs on a loose puck rebound in front of the goal.  Four minutes and fourteen seconds later, Kalamazoo's Brett Beauvais scored his first of the playoffs with a left-side wrister from the point, which locked the game up at one goal apiece. Midway through the second, with the game tied at one apiece, Traverse City took their second lead of the game with the first of the playoffs by Seth Adams. With less than three minutes to go in the second, and down a goal, the Jr. K-Wings' Danny Hamburg drew his team even with his low-slot goal. The goal for Hamburg, the first of his playoff career, came at the 17:10 mark of the middle frame. 8:13 into overtime, Drew Graves broke the tie and gave Kalamazoo a 3-2 victory with his breakaway tally. The goal for Graves was his third of the playoffs. Kalamazoo will advance to the North Finals to face Port Huron. Boxscore

Port Huron 5 @ Michigan 2 (Port Huron wins series, 3-1) – Michigan jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but the Fighting Falcons stormed back to score the last five goals of the game to advance to the North Finals where they will face Kalamazoo.  Martin Gruse and Michael Economos gave the Warriors a 2-0 lead, but two goals from Kody Polin and others from Nico Sierra, Mike Moroso and Ian Miller secured the win for Port Huron.  Max Milosek picked up with win in relief of Peter Megariotis, stopping all 25 shots. Boxscore

Wenatchee 2 @ Alaska 1 (OT) (Wenatchee wins series, 3-2) – Evan Schmidbauer scored just his second goal of the season on a loose rebound to give Wenatchee a 2-1 win and advance them to the West Division Finals where they will take on the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.  Greg Lewis, who made his second straight start in goal for the Wild, made 30 saves in the win.  Wenatchee scored first in regulation on a goal from Blake Roubos, but that was answered just :15 seconds later by Alaska’s Wehebe Darge. Boxscore

Alexandria 2 @ Austin 3 (Austin wins series, 3-1) – With less than two minutes to go in the game, Nolan Kirley tucked home a rebound past Jacob Meyers to send the Bruins to the Central Division Finals with a 3-2 win over the Blizzard.  After a scoreless 1st period, the Bruins erupted for two goals in the 2nd period from Brandon Wahlin and Charlie Adams.  Dylan Zink and Tucker Coborn scored in the 3rd period for Alexandria to tie the game at 2-2 before Kirley’s heroics.  Tyler Bruggeman made 38 saves in the win. Boxscore

Bismarck 5 @ Aberdeen 3 (Bismarck wins series, 3-1) – Aaron Nelson made 41 saves and Castan Sommer and Adam Knochenmus each scored twice to give the Bobcats a 5-3 win and a trip to the Central Division Finals, where they will face Austin.  Knochenmus opened the scoring with the lone 1st period goal.  After Joseph Sullivan tied the game for the Wings, Bismarck rattled off four straight goals including two from Sommer, one more from Knochenmus and another from Dan Zawacki.  Two late goals from Justin Parizek and another from Sullivan weren’t enough for the Wings. Boxscore

Janesville 2 @ Springfield 1 (Series tied, 2-2) – Lawrence Childs scored both goals for the Jets and Tony Kujava made 20 saves as Janesville fought off elimination with a 2-1 in Game 4, setting up a winner-take-all Game 5 back in Janesville on Sunday at 5pm.  Childs scored in the 2nd period with assists to Garrett Cecere and Adam Frank and then again in the 3rd period on an unassisted goal.  Ethan Nauman scored late in the 3rd period to bring the Jr. Blues within a goal, but Kujava and the Jets would hang on to force a Game 5 for the right to play St. Louis in the Midwest Finals. Boxscore

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